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Critical Disability Studies

What is Critical Disability Studies

Critical Disability Studies is an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary field that approaches disability as a social and cultural category, a lived experience, and an analytical frame. It thus expands understandings of disability and people with disabilities across diverse geographical and temporal contexts. According to the Encyclopedia of American Disability History, "disability is not a characteristic that exists in the person so defined, but a construct that finds its meaning in a social and cultural context.” Critical Disability Studies explores issues of identity, representation, access, citizenship, technology, knowledge, and power—among other topics—and understands disability as inextricably tied to other social forces and identities, including gender, sexuality, class, and race.

Research Guide Disability Studies. University of California Berkeley, https://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/disabilitystudies/home. Accessed 15 October 2022.

 

Disability Studies is interdisciplinary, examining the experience of disability from a spectrum of “truths”. However, people living with disability and their experiences are integral to what we learn and understand. Disability Studies scholars are lawyers, philosophers, social workers, medical professionals, public health officials, educators, artists, anthropologists, architects, and more. Scholars are encouraged to think inclusively and creatively. The deconstruction of assumed knowledge, stigma, and bias are integral to the field with a focus on unraveling the boundaries between “normal” and “abnormal” and what these terms actually mean. Disability is understood to be conditional to environmental and social factors as well as physical, cognitive, and mental factors (Adams, Reiss, & Serlin, 2015). The term “disability” has not remained stable throughout history and will likely continue to change. This is an important facet of disability.

UT Center for Disability Studies. University of Texas. https://disabilitystudies.utexas.edu/studiesoverview. Accessed 15 October 2022.

Databases

I recommend starting your search in EBSCOhost. It contains databases on your topic of study and is user friendly allowing for various ways to narrow your topic. Go to library.unt.edu and select Database in the "Start Your Research Box." Click on type for suggestion and select EBSCOhost. If you are off campus you will need to sign in with your EUID and Password. Once you sign in select all databases and continue. Now you are ready to search for your topic.

Disabilities Studies Journals

Disability Studies Quarterly (DSQ) is the journal of the Society for Disability Studies (SDS). It is a multidisciplinary and international journal of interest to social scientists, scholars in the humanities, disability rights advocates, creative writers, and others concerned with the issues of people with disabilities. This journal is found in EBSCOhost. 

Focuses on cultural and especially literary representations of disability. Contains a wide variety of textual analyses that are informed by disability theory and, by extension, experiences of disability. It is essential reading for scholars whose work concentrates on the portrayal of disability in literature.

Sanglap is meant to be a dialogue between literary and cultural studies. Over the last few decades, there has been a strong cultural turn in literary studies which has gradually introduced an element of ‘play’ in its disciplinary enclosure and opened up the folds of the literary to an inter-disciplinary dialogue with the diversity of the cultural.

Focuses on cultural and especially literary representations of disability. Contains a wide variety of textual analyses that are informed by disability theory and, by extension, experiences of disability. It is essential reading for scholars whose work concentrates on the portrayal of disability in literature

The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies publishes peer-reviewed original articles that advance research in the multidisciplinary, international field of disability studies. The journal embraces a wide range of methodologies and perspectives, values collaborative and cross-disciplinary work, community partnership, and creative approaches to scholarship. Research in the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies will be of interest to scholars and students from across all academic disciplines, as well as anyone involved in disability arts, advocacy, community organization or policy.  The journal foregrounds a critical disability studies perspective, committed to disability rights.

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